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|“||If you're always worried about crushing the ants beneath you... you won't be able to walk.||„|
|“||I'm used to fighting to survive. But what grows worse daily is the pressure not to die. Have I ever before wielded a sword so heavy?||„|
Guts is the main protagonist of the anime and manga series Berserk. In the series, Guts is a former mercenary and branded wanderer that travels the world in a constant internal struggle between pursuing his own ends and protecting those dear to him. At one time driven solely by his will to survive during his days as a mercenary, Guts finds a purpose in life upon joining the Band of the Falcon after being defeated by its leader Griffith, greatly helping in the faction's storied successes during the Hundred-Year War as captain of the band's raiders.
In Japanese, he has been voiced by Nobutoshi Canna and Hiroaki Iwanaga, the latter of which voices him currently. In English, he has been voiced by Marc Diraison in the 1997 anime and the animated movies, Michael Bell in Sword of Berserk, and Kaiji Tang in the 2017 anime.
Guts was born from the corpse of his lynched mother underneath a hanging tree, lying in a mire of blood and afterbirth. A mercenary group lead by a man named Gambino eventually happened upon the grisly site, presuming the infant to be dead. When the baby began wailing, to the surprise of the mercenaries, an acquaintance of Gambino's, Shisu, immediately took to the child and came to his aid. Gambino allowed the woman to keep Guts for her own personal consolation, despite the circumstances of Guts' birth being considered ominous by his cohorts. Three years later, Guts' surrogate mother contracted the plague, dying as he watched on and held her hand in the final moments.
|“||F*** you. I'm human, the real deal, right down to the bone. Don't mistake me for one of you freaks.||„|
|~ Guts to Emperor Ganishka after assuming him to be a apostle.|
Depicted as a tall, muscular man, Guts stands at 6'8" (204 cm) with short, spiked, black hair in a crew cut. He is missing his left forearm and right eye due to an encounter with the God Hand and is covered head-to-toe in scars from a lifetime of battles, with the most notable being a lacerated scar on his nose he got from a sparring match with his abusive father Gambino. Also notable is a large, horizontal scar on his chest which he received during his encounter with Slan of the God Hand in the qliphoth. After receiving the Berserker Armor, Guts receives a small fringe of white on his hair, presumably due to the stress brought on from wielding the armor. Guts' tendency to wear black clothing while hunting the apostles gained him the nickname "The Black Swordsman". Aside of all this, Guts has a brand as a result of the Eclipse on the back right side of his neck. This brand attracts demons and evil spirits to him at night.
Guts' original design, featured in Berserk: The Prototype, had him wearing an eye patch.
His sense of joy was ground down to nothing by years of bloodshed and tragedy, Guts can only be described as a pessimistic, hardened man who doesn't make friends easily and will kill hundreds and hundreds of foes with little remorse for them. Despite that, Guts still harbors a strong sense of justice and compassion, willing to fight for what's right and scorning Griffith for having betrayed everyone he once loved to become like a god. Although once lacking direction in life, he eventually finds himself understanding his love for combat, also devoting his life to fighting the strong.
Powers and abilities
Because he is just a normal human, the strength to carry, much less to use and wield a sword of such magnitude with finesse and dexterity makes Guts a grandmaster swordsman of no ordinary level and skill, which shows up in every battle or duels that he partakes, especially when he is engaged with demonic beings. He is also skillful at using many bladed weapons, has knowledge on how the mechanism of complicated firearms work and is also an excellent equestrian. Despite his large frame he is very fast, dexterous and agile for a human of his size and stature which can be seen when he is engaged in combat with multiple enemies.
Guts' ferocity, fury, aggressiveness, and strength do much to conceal the cunning person within him. He is very perceptive, quick witted, clever, and a skilled strategist, all of it goes hand in hand with his strength. These are major reasons of why he had survived the countless encounters that he so far had faced. A good example of his tactical prowess is his fight with the apostle Rosine. During the fight Guts was severely outnumbered by Rosine's insect-like elf pseudoapostles but managed to kill them by lighting himself on fire when they got too close then quickly dousing himself by slicing open the cocoons that were in the process of turning more children into pseudoapostles. Though not much of a talker, Guts is also shown to possess astute logical reasoning which can be seen in some of his conversations within the manga.
As a youth, Guts lived in a mercenary camp where he was forced to learn to use full sized weapons. This and his natural physical size and strength enabled him to wield larger weapons than most. Throughout the Golden Age arc, he primarily uses a variety of large swords, along with various other weapons when necessary.
In the (chronologically) later arcs, Guts wields the Dragonslayer, a zweihander or two-handed sword about 7' long and 12" wide at its base. It is more than an inch thick at the middle of the blade, giving it incredible weight and power. Described in the manga as more of a table-sized slab of iron than a blade, the Dragonslayer's massive size makes it the ideal weapon for slaying apostles of the God Hand. After killing many apostles, the sword retains properties of the apostles' blood, making it more effective against them. In addition to his blade, Guts' left forearm is prosthetic with a magnet to help grip weapons, a replacement for the one he lost when Griffith attempted to sacrifice him; it folds back to expose a hidden cannon within. Guts also carries throwing knives, miniature bombs, a dagger, and even a repeating crossbow that can be mounted onto his prosthetic arm. While not innately magical, Guts' sword, the Dragonslayer, was recently shown to have become a cursed blade after absorbing the evil within so many apostles slayed by him; enabling it to kill creatures of a non-corporeal nature and even possibly kill, or at least, seriously injure members of the God Hand.
One of Guts' most powerful assets is the Berserker Armor, an ancient, cursed suit of armor that allows the wearer to overcome his physical and mental limitations in combat but at the cost of damaging his already-weakened body. In Guts' case, the armor od strengthens his mind issues (depicted in Guts' case as a quadruped canine creature), to take over and endanger everyone in the vicinity, friend or foe (hence, berserk). The Armor has deadly effects on its user. After using the armor once, Guts lost some of his sense of taste, became slightly colorblind, and the stress of using it caused a patch of his hair to turn white, among other things. The armor can pierce his flesh from within to reinforce broken bones, enabling him to continue fighting long after his body to the point it would normally be exhausted.
Guts has incredible strength and physical resistance, even though he is a regular man with no powers. Due to his extensive training since a very young age, his strength and endurance could be classified as superhuman. He is able to swing the large Dragonslayer with incredible speed, even with just one hand. He has also survived impacts that would kill a regular man, even with the protection of armor.
He also has an incredible resistance to pain as shown when he cuts off his own arm trying to stop Griffith from raping Casca.
He is able to come up with strategies very quickly and thanks to his experience in battle he can realize very quickly the best way to fight, like when he used a sword with his feet to impale Zodd. Despite all of this, Guts' resistance to damage is not far away from a normal human's. He can be affected and hurt badly with normal weapons.